SERVING THE QUANTITATIVE FINANCE COMMUNITY

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DSPGuy
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Posts: 101
Joined: June 5th, 2008, 10:06 am

Why on earth is anyone getting a PHD?

June 29th, 2009, 12:01 am

There was a pretty good article in the NYPost which took thecollege vs high-school lifetime earning comparison to task.The conclusion is that you are better off going to work out ofhigh school and saving the money spent on college.I can accept some counter arguments for an undergrad degreebut what are these people doing with PHDs? I've worked ata number of engineering companies where having a PHD wouldpretty much guaranty that you wouldn't be hired (what's thisguy going to do here?). Granted there are a few niches plusthe financial world's current PHD kink but other than that what?Seems like a very poorly thought out strategy to invested some 5 years of your life to buy a lottery ticket.
 
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HyperGeometric
Posts: 314
Joined: March 27th, 2004, 4:13 am

Why on earth is anyone getting a PHD?

June 29th, 2009, 12:21 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: DSPGuy Granted there are a few niches plusthe financial world's current PHD kink but other than that what?Seems like a very poorly thought out strategy to invested some 5 years of your life to buy a lottery ticket. I heard that a lot of PhDs go into academia
 
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PaperCut
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Why on earth is anyone getting a PHD?

June 29th, 2009, 12:24 am

You are right. It's overkill.
 
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deepvalue
Posts: 918
Joined: April 25th, 2007, 6:08 am

Why on earth is anyone getting a PHD?

June 29th, 2009, 1:35 am

if you look at it rationally, why is anybody becoming an actress? a model? a poet? a soccer player? a cabbie? a high school dropout? is it rational for the whole world to get an mba and become a robot VP in an IB to maximize expected npv of lifetime income?
Last edited by deepvalue on June 28th, 2009, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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antiser
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Joined: June 18th, 2009, 12:25 pm

Why on earth is anyone getting a PHD?

June 29th, 2009, 2:20 am

any advanced R&D would require PhD(I am not talking about optimizing the antenna shape for a cell phone; but new concepts)
 
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DSPGuy
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Why on earth is anyone getting a PHD?

June 29th, 2009, 2:32 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: antiserany advanced R&D would require PhD(I am not talking about optimizing the antenna shape for a cell phone; but new concepts)There are very few slots though, mainly confined to the larger companies.I was fairly chummy with the head guy at Creative Labs (Sound Blaster company).They use to house a couple post docs there but at some point the pressure to makemoney forced cuts in the esoteric areas. Really couldn't justify pie-in the sky researchwhen what was needed was just repackaged crap.Also knew a few folks at Dolby Labs and SRS, there too, its hard to justify a PHDwhen lots of the work is just retargeting existing technology. I mean, MP3 / AAC,DONE! No need for a new standard.In my field I've watched PHD students come and go, seen 'em at conferences and then they vanish into the ether. Sometimes I try to find where they wound up and when I do its like, "Damm, what a waste!" Love the Che-Peter
 
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albertmills
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Why on earth is anyone getting a PHD?

June 29th, 2009, 4:54 am

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katastrofa
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Location: Alpha Centauri

Why on earth is anyone getting a PHD?

June 29th, 2009, 5:37 am

I did a PhD in physics because I liked physics so much.
 
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AbhiJ
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Why on earth is anyone getting a PHD?

June 29th, 2009, 6:05 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: DSPGuyQuoteOriginally posted by: antiserany advanced R&D would require PhD(I am not talking about optimizing the antenna shape for a cell phone; but new concepts)There are very few slots though, mainly confined to the larger companies.I was fairly chummy with the head guy at Creative Labs (Sound Blaster company).They use to house a couple post docs there but at some point the pressure to makemoney forced cuts in the esoteric areas. Really couldn't justify pie-in the sky researchwhen what was needed was just repackaged crap.Also knew a few folks at Dolby Labs and SRS, there too, its hard to justify a PHDwhen lots of the work is just retargeting existing technology. I mean, MP3 / AAC,DONE! No need for a new standard.In my field I've watched PHD students come and go, seen 'em at conferences and then they vanish into the ether. Sometimes I try to find where they wound up and when I do its like, "Damm, what a waste!" Love the Che-PeterThere are very few slots and there are many people who think that PhD is a waste of time and don't get the degree so the one who does gets the job easily.Demand is less , supply is lesser.
 
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AbhiJ
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Joined: August 5th, 2008, 11:29 am

Why on earth is anyone getting a PHD?

June 29th, 2009, 6:09 am

I m not comparing a PhD with a MBA.Doing a PhD gives you the following.#Self-starter #Independent thinking#Problem Solving Ability#Enterpreneurial Ability:Yes you need to have a spirit to toil with a problem for 4 years, the same spirit will come good while starting a new firm.Conclusion: If PhD was so bad you won't be having CEOs and Enterpreneurs having a PhD.
 
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ChicagoGuy
Posts: 455
Joined: April 13th, 2007, 1:45 am

Why on earth is anyone getting a PHD?

June 29th, 2009, 7:27 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: DSPGuyThere was a pretty good article in the NYPost which took thecollege vs high-school lifetime earning comparison to task.The conclusion is that you are better off going to work out ofhigh school and saving the money spent on college.I can accept some counter arguments for an undergrad degreebut what are these people doing with PHDs? I've worked ata number of engineering companies where having a PHD wouldpretty much guaranty that you wouldn't be hired (what's thisguy going to do here?). Granted there are a few niches plusthe financial world's current PHD kink but other than that what?Seems like a very poorly thought out strategy to invested some 5 years of your life to buy a lottery ticket.Why would anybody want to advance a subject? Is not that what a dissertation is? I mean if there isnt any money why would anybody want to do a PhD? Why is wilmott transforming into this MBA style forum? Is this what financial mathematics is coming to be, just another subject people are willing to do only for money?Damn, this is depressing.
 
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Anthis
Posts: 4313
Joined: October 22nd, 2001, 10:06 am

Why on earth is anyone getting a PHD?

June 29th, 2009, 7:45 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: ChicagoGuyQuoteOriginally posted by: DSPGuyThere was a pretty good article in the NYPost which took thecollege vs high-school lifetime earning comparison to task.The conclusion is that you are better off going to work out ofhigh school and saving the money spent on college.I can accept some counter arguments for an undergrad degreebut what are these people doing with PHDs? I've worked ata number of engineering companies where having a PHD wouldpretty much guaranty that you wouldn't be hired (what's thisguy going to do here?). Granted there are a few niches plusthe financial world's current PHD kink but other than that what?Seems like a very poorly thought out strategy to invested some 5 years of your life to buy a lottery ticket.Why would anybody want to advance a subject? Is not that what a dissertation is? I mean if there isnt any money why would anybody want to do a PhD? Why is wilmott transforming into this MBA style forum? Is this what financial mathematics is coming to be, just another subject people are willing to do only for money?Damn, this is depressing.I would like to know how many of the people already replied hold a PhD, how many tried but failed, and how many would like to hold a PhD but havent even tried.
Last edited by Anthis on June 28th, 2009, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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kennethlou
Posts: 31
Joined: January 8th, 2008, 9:59 am

Why on earth is anyone getting a PHD?

June 29th, 2009, 8:01 am

Not sure about US but for UK research has shown that ppl having a uni degree definitely makes more money than ppl without one and the number was about 600,000 pounds more over the lifetime earning.The world is changing and in my current generation there are way too many universities and the value of a degree is depreciating so quickly that a Bachelor degree is not a "precious commodity" anymore since everyone can afford it. That's why everyone is moving towards advanced degree such as MSc and DPhil/pHd. Not only that but most of the US uni are crap and yet they charge USD40000 per year so it is not a wise investment. Most people (including my mum) still think that a uni degree can lead to something great in the future. This concept can be applied to the past but not today anymore. The rest of the young lads who always dream of becoming a star trader at a top-tier investment bank but actually failed to land on banking internship still have a bit of hope that doing a pHd will give them a better chance to land on another banking offer. That's why those young people are all motivated to move towards advanced degree. Stock market is always driven by hope. Now we can see hope in the job market :-P
Last edited by kennethlou on June 28th, 2009, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Bentley
Posts: 97
Joined: September 14th, 2007, 3:54 pm

Why on earth is anyone getting a PHD?

June 29th, 2009, 8:09 am

Although I admire people who is able to make the effort required to obtain a Phd I must say that you do not need a Phd to be Self-starter or an Independent thinker, or to have Problem Solving Ability or Enterpreneurial Ability...all of these are "obtained" with a "good" Msc ( and I mean A good and though one)...In my team half of the people held a Phd and you would not notice the difference between those ones and the others...Anyhow, something that is really true is that a Phd "Provides" you with a complete lack of "real" working experience when you land in your first job in your late 20s or early 30s and I see that as a great disadvantage
 
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EscapeArtist999
Posts: 1620
Joined: May 20th, 2009, 2:49 pm

Why on earth is anyone getting a PHD?

June 29th, 2009, 8:16 am

Arlequant, you are right that it is a disadvantage not to have the work experience, but bear in mind that things change in finance quite quickly, and having less experience (read less dogmatic views) can e an advantage. Also, don't dioscount that many people who do the PhD are foreigners trying to escape the tird world. While I don't entirely disagree with your views, I do believe that you are looking at things from a somewhat one-sided view.
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